Saturday, August 30, 2008

new from dancing girl press

The Fire-Wife
Melissa Culbertson
dancing girl press, 2008
available here

divided highway

Kim Young
dancing girl press, 2008
available here

Elsewhere & Wise by Kristi Maxwell

News bits:

*Tomorrow is not only the last chance to submit your chapbook for our annual reading period (details here..)but also the last chance to take advantage of our Summer Sale (5 books /$20).

*see pics here at the Blossombones blog from the reading with Melissa Culbertson and Leigh Stein. I can't remember any reading I've ever been to where the writing styles matched up so well...

*in October, Melissa, Simone Muench, and Susan Slaviero (whose book will be out in January) will be reading at WomanMade Gallery in conjuntion with the exhibit "Objects of Desire"..details to come...

Friday, August 29, 2008

ugh..why I really try not to follow politics since they just make me angry

When I saw this, my first thought was hmmm..interesting. That maybe Republicans weren't all entirely evil if they were willing to put (gasp!) a woman on the ticket, and much less, a rather young woman. And then I read further, and realized that indeed they really are as bad (or worse) as I thought--anti-abortion? anti gay marriage? wtf? I would have thought a woman, of all people would have her head on straight (wanting control of her own body, a little bit of empathy for those with different sexual preferences) There's no excuse...

For years, I was under the mistaken opinion that people of my generation (10 or so years earlier or younger than me)--basically, the entire fold of Generation X and the beginnings of Y were of a similar rather liberal perspective. After all, our parents had been hippies or 70's swingers. we'd seen the Reagan years and they weren't pretty. I imagined a generation more open to change and different lifestyles. Uh..apparently I was my daily experience on the Etsy forums will attest (a shock after really only knowing poetry and artsy folks otherwise))there seems to be a serious backtracking . Not only is my generation not what I thought it was, but the next one is sometimes even scarier in their conservatism. Yikes..

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Monday, August 25, 2008

back in the saddle

or trying anway, including finishing up Kim Young's Divided Highway and copies of Melissa's Fire-Wife. I managed to get the webpage for the latter up before I headed out, but I still need to finish assembling the first batch (not counting the few I whipped up in time for the reading)...I am still tweaking the cover design for Kristi Maxwell's Elsewhere & Wise, but otherwise it's ready to go. Which just leaves two more behind schedule projects, books by Danielle Vogel and Claire Hero, which I hope to get wrapped up in September. I just keep telling myself it will all get done eventually. They will be ready when they are ready. Somehow I lost an entire summer of productivity to dayjob hell, daily drama, and autopilot mode...and yet I'm always working, but it seems I am always behind. I will be humming along on schedule and something else will need more immediate attention, and that will get done but four other things fall by the wayside until they become more pressing. It's like putting out a string of endless fires. put this one out and another flares up. Now, it's fall again, and the Wicked Alice inbox needs to be emptied before we open for submissions again (I decided to bypass the summer issue when it's harder for me to work on it and just do three issues a year--Fall, Winter, Spring.) And of course, dgp submissions, which I will be diving into very soon. I've been remarkably good about not peeking until now. Next year, I think I'll be taking a little break after our January release until May, but I'm still undecided on how many books I want to take after that.

I was thinking earlier today how absolutely insane the last year has been. I just extended the studio lease another year, all of which was barely a random thought even just a year ago. Now, a year, 15 titles, a handful of workshops/events, and a rather thriving shop later, things are even better than I imagined. (I had initially thought we might make the rent by charging for workshops, but I'd prefer them to be free and open to the public, so the etsy shop definitely picks up the slack, plus finances more books, more projects, more art-making...) And of course, maybe, one day, god willing, I might be making anough to do all this full-time, or at least that's the two year plan of attack...imagine getting out of bed and going to work at something you're passionate about and not just the usual day-job doldrums. I may die trying, but it's worth it...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

this week's heinousness in poetry award goes to

this absolute horror story...

For awhile I wasn't sure anyone could top Tupelo with the shenanigans and all, nor further my absolute dissolusionment with staus quo pobiz, but this takes the cake..

Thursday, August 21, 2008

notes while vacating

I've been trying to stay away from the computer during my time off, but as you can see there is not much success in that arena. There are always emails to answer, details to tend to. Nevertheless I have spent the week lounging about doing much of nothing. There's been a bit of thriftstore and flea market wandering, eating actual cooked meals (not my usual cereal, grilled cheese, and takeout fare), wedding planning for little sis next fall, and campfires with s'mores out by the pond. I am sleeping better in my old room than I have in months in my own bed. I think I just needed to get away from all the static and leftover drama. There are a ton of things I need to tend to once I'm back in the city, more chaps to make, orders to ship, so I'll be heading back a bit earlier to spend a day in the studio on Monday..onTuesday, it's back to work for a week and then the semester starts all over again.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


apparently my theory proves correct....

Months ago I was talking to someone about how likely it is that someone will try to off the democratic candidate (at the time whether it would have been Hilary or Obama) and that person said it was amazing that people weren't readily trying to do the same to the current administration. I came up with a theory that there is a big difference between the people who vehemently hate Republicans/conservatives and those that vehemently hate Democrats/liberals. Gun ownership.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I am rushing, rushing, rushing this week to get all sorts of ends tied up before I leave on Friday--chaps to print and ship, last minute etsy biz. I've come to to the conclusion that there are just not enough hours during the day to do what I need to do. I could sleep less , but I'd be a total basketcase. I try to get alot done during my desk time at the library, but some of it isn't possible, like making things, packing orders, and assembling books. Thank god, for my sister's help or I'd be screwed. I actually only have about two hours in the evening to get these things done--usually between 7 and 9:30 or so (I have to get out of the studio by ten since they stop running the elevators and I don't relish the idea of being alone in the building and taking all those stairs down...) Then after an hour long commute and dinner, I'm about ready to crash..Occasionally I can get some other creative things done, but most of that gets done on weekends. Then I'm in bed by 1 or so and up at 9 and off to work..I'm actually looking forward to the semester starting and my evening work schedule (2-10), which gives me entire mornings free to do as I please with..

Thursday, August 07, 2008

dgp studio presents

Leigh Stein & Melissa Culbertson

Friday, August 8th, 8 pm
The Fine Arts Building
410 S Michigan
Studio 921

Leigh Stein is the author of Cautionary Tales, winner of the 2007 Pavement Saw Press Transcontinental Poetry Award, and the chapbook How to Mend a Broken Heart with Vengeance, available from Dancing Girl Press. She lives in Brooklyn and works for a comic book publisher.

Melissa Culbertson recently graduated from Lewis University with a degree in Literature. Her poetry has appeared or is set to appear in Flyway: A Literary Review, Windows, Pebble Lake Review, Barn Owl Review, Wicked Alice, and [GROWLING SOFTLY] , a collection put together by Blood Pudding Press. Melissa's chapbook, the fire-wife, is due out from dancing girl press in August of 2008.

The reading is also part of the Fine Arts Building’s Second Fridays, so there will be lots to see and do—including open studios galleries, musical performances, and more.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

definitely worth the wait

Anne Heide
dancing girl press, 2008
get it here.

Edward Smallfield & Miriam Pirone
dancing girl press, 2008
get it here.

readings and beheadings

I am reading tonight as one of three features in a newer series up at CafĂ© Ennui up in Roger’s Park tonight at 7pm.…I’m thinking I will read all new work since I’m having a love/hate relationship with the old (and sometimes also with the new). I am also trying to get ready for our reading in the studio on Friday, which means cleaning it up to look presentable and not the massive whirlwind of paper and packing materials it is now. Speaking of tornados, last night I was there printing chaps and heard the storm siren’s start to go off. I was unsure whether to brave the stairwells with their skylights and try for a lower floor, or try the elevators and risk getting stuck if we lost power, so I wandered out into the hallway for awhile until they stopped to get away from the giant windows. It stormed like crazy, and cleared up eventually so I could go home, but not before our bus getting stuck (once again, different flooded viaduct) under Lake Shore drive and having to get on another bus. It wasn’t even all that much water, but the transmission apparently didn’t like it.

The other night, I watched The Other Boleyn Girl and then subsequently brushed up on my Tudor history. As an undergrad, I had to take a British history class as one of my supporting classes in my major..(which didn’t make a whole lot of sense, since my study was steeped in American lit.) But mine was an evening class on Tudor Stuart England, and I have to admit, it was one of the more enjoyable courses, even though it was basically a four hour lecture every week. I was rapt, though, as I was watching this movie. Particularly when it comes to Ann Boleyn and all of Henry VIII’s wives. I have a grizzly fascination with executed women, go figure..(actually only 2 were executed, the others were exiled, divorced, or died in childbirth.) I remember seeing the book in bookstores when it came out, but wasn’t in the mood for some reason the, but will definitely check it out now…

Friday, August 01, 2008


I've been going over the poems in the kissing disease, and one thing that keeps surfacing in my head is the word "obsessive", something that probably makes them a bit different from the work that has come before them. It might be the effect of certain strains of repetition, in both individual poems and throughout the manuscript. Of course, a big part of it are the anxiety dream sequence, so a certain amount of obsessiveness in subject matter is to be expected, but I'm talking more a tone and effect of the actual language. A circularity, or a raking of things over and over (and over and over almost to the point of annoyance in some cases). Getting to the end of something and then going back over it again. And again. It might be the anaphora, or a note of uncertainty. It's interesting, and maybe something I can work with in terms of order and organization.